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Hinges - Rear Window Glass

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Hinges - Rear Window Glass

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What are the rear glass hinges and where are they located? 

On many trucks and SUVs, the rear glass, above the tailgate, can be opened up to provide additional ventilation or a little extra space for that couch you’re trying to move.  The rear glass hinges are what let the rear glass open and close.  The hinges are mounted at the top of the glass and attach to body just below the roof.  They are usually made of metal.  A hinge bolt allows the hinge to open and close smoothly, just like the hinges on any of the doors in your house.   

How do I know if my ­­­­rear glass hinges need to be replaced? 

Because the rear glass hinges are mounted on the outside of the glass, they are exposed to the elements.  The metal can start to corrode.  You may notice mineral deposits beneath the hinges on your rear window glass.  That’s from water streaking the rust over your windows.  If the hinge bolt corrodes, the hinge can either become stiff or loose.  It might be hard to open the rear window or keep it open.  A loose hinge might eventually give way and let the rear glass fall off, which could easily break it.  In that case, you’ll have a much bigger – and costlier – repair on your hands.  So, you should take care of loose glass hinges as soon as possible.  

Can I replace the rear glass hinges myself?  

Replacing the rear glass hinges is fairly simple and can be accomplished by a do-it-yourselfer.  An assistant will definitely help with this process.  Taking certain precautions can certainly help the job go more smoothly.  First of all, you’ll want to do this job in a cool shaded area.  It is possible to break your glass if you’re not careful, and hot glass is more sensitive to breakage than cool glass.  Secondly, you want the glass to be even once it’s reinstalled.  To keep it even, you’ll want to replace the glass hinges as a pair, and to mark their position before removing them.  This will help you reinstall them in the same place.  Before you mark their position, you should scrape off any corrosion and clean the glass. 

To remove the hinges, start by opening the rear glass.  You’re going to have to open the glass even farther than normal to get the fasteners off the hinges, so you’re going to have to disconnect the lift struts.  Then you’ll have to prop up the glass or have a helper hold it.  Then you can remove the fasteners from the hinge and pull off the hinge.  Clean the area underneath the hinge before you install the new one.  The hinges are probably angled slightly differently, even if it’s hard to tell at first glance.  Each hinge will come marked with which side it should be installed on.  Be sure to install the hinges on their correct respective sides. 

You can then reverse the above process to install the new hinges.  Once everything is reconnected, open and close the rear glass a few times to test it.  If the glass seems uneven, or doesn’t latch right, adjust the positioning of the hinges and try again.  Clean up the marks you used to position the hinges, and you’ll be all set.  

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